Review by Choice Review
In this thoughtful, succinct study, Nemeth (California Univ. of Pennsylvania) attempts to synthesize the social, religious, and legal thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther King Jr. regarding civil disobedience and the need for "an objective moral order." In the first two chapters, the nature of law is explained, especially the categories of Thomistic legal thinking, as well as the meaning of civil disobedience. Chapters 3 and 4 argue for the compatibility of civil disobedience and the Christian life. The "radical" aspect of the interpretation suggests that an unjust law should not be obeyed. The final chapter proposes areas of agreement between Aquinas and King regarding civil disobedience. The book provides an engaging, lucid introduction to Aquinas on law. Unfortunately, the analysis of King's thought is less discerning and fails to appreciate the overriding influence of Boston personalism upon his views of social and political life. The author is correct to suggest both Aquinas and King "deliver an ethical construct that mirrors human life"; however, the divergence between Aquinas and King may be greater than the proposed convergence. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections. H. L. Cheek Jr. Athens State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.